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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Educreation Interactive Whiteboard App for iPad

by Educreations, Inc
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4.75 stars
Content Quality:
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 4.5 stars
Reviewed: Apr 21, 2013 by Teacher Education
Overview: The Educreations iPad app gives users the ability to record their voice and whiteboard interactions. Users can draw, choosing from a palate of 10 ink colors, and type text. Users can also import and manipulate images taken with the iPad’s camera, stored in Photos or Dropbox, or found on the Web. Additionally, users can choose from the following backgrounds: white paper, lined paper, graph paper, and coordinate grid. This tool even includes a Left Hand Mode. In terms of editing what is on the screen, users can quickly tap undo, redo, or clear a page. If users want to continue working without deleting what is on their whiteboard, they can simply tap the lower right arrow to add a new page. If they wish to replicate an existing page, they can tap the Duplicate Page or Duplicate Page & Ink icon. Recordings may be shared via email and a variety of cloud-based services, including a user’s personal educreations.com account, Facebook, and Twitter. Educreations.com privacy settings give the user some control over who views the content. Users may also copy a recording’s link or embed code and paste it in their blog or website. Educreations Interactive Whiteboard app is currently free (March 2013).
Learning Goals: Instructors and students alike may record their voice and whiteboard interactions as a means of sharing ideas and knowledge. The instructor creates lessons using the App. A student can access and create his or her own content on the iPad or via a browser on a mobile device or static land-based computer.
Target Student Population: Educreations Interactive Whiteboard may be used with a variety of grade levels, courses, or subject matter. This app may be better suited for secondary students, undergraduates, or graduate students as the content is typically shared via cloud-based solutions that require a working knowledge of digital citizenship.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Users should understand how to navigate their iPad and may want to create an educreations.com account, Facebook account, or Twitter account.
Type of Material: Listed as a presentation, this is actually a Development Tool. This app allows instructors and learner to create materials on the fly and falls into the highest order of thinking in Bloom's Digital Taxonomy: creativity.
Recommended Uses: This tool may be used in a variety of academic settings, such as face-to-face, blended, or fully online courses. This app may be particularly helpful in “flipping” the classroom, where content is viewed outside face-to-face meetings.
Technical Requirements: iPad app requires iOS 5.0 or later and a wireless network connection. It is not necessary to use an iPad in order to view published presentations. Presentations may be viewed in any web browser as long as the latest version of Adobe’s Flash Player is installed.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating:
Strengths: This iPad App is a content creation tool.
Concerns: • No step-by-step tutorial available.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: This app enables teachers from a variety of disciplines to quickly and easily record and share one-take lessons for students. Teachers interested in "flipping" their classroom may find this tool particularly useful. Teachers may also find this tool helpful in giving general feedback to students on an assignment. Students may also use this tool to share their ideas and knowledge with their teacher or peers.
Concerns: Users will want to keep their intended audience in mind and share content accordingly.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: * Clean, simple user interface. * Can switch to Left Hand Mode. * Great background options. * Easy to integrate and manipulate images. * Easy to add a new page to the whiteboard or simply duplicate a page with or without drawings. * Recording automatically pauses when the user types text or searches for an image: cuts out "dead air" time. * Simple to save and share recordings privately or publicly via cloud-based solutions. * Users can categorize their content, adding it to existing private or public collections. * App includes a helpful visual introduction to the tool. * Company is proactive in asking how they may help you get started using their app: received a welcome email and follow up response to a question I asked within minutes. * App also includes a link to the company's FAQ / help pages.
Concerns: * Users are unable to edit presentations; however, the company is looking to add this functionality in a future update. * Although the app includes undo, redo, and clear functions, it would be helpful to have an eraser tool that enables the user to selectively remove portions of a drawing. * Users are unable to import other file types to use in their recordings, such as Word, PowerPoint, or PDF documents; however, these files may be converted into images which may be imported. * Users are not able to export or download recordings at the present time; however, the company is looking to add this functionality in a future update. * Speech to text currently isn't an option with this app. This app does not run on iPhone currently. It appears that previous iterations ran on the iPhone. It should be advertised as an iPad app rather than an iOS app.

Other Issues and Comments: To learn more about Educreations Interactive Whiteboard, visit http://www.educreations.com/ To learn about Educreations’ privacy policy, visit http://www.educreations.com/privacy/ This app has been updated every one to three months.